Five dozen
Hump Day

Bloody knackered

A long day.

Volunteered at House of Paint 2006 all day, then went to DMC Canada Championships from 9 to midnight. Too tired now to have the sense to go to bed. Managed to take 90 pics at HoP, and almost 140 at DMC. Yikes - down-loaded them all and now have to backup, then edit, then upload to Flickr. HoP are pretty well ready to load, maybe just need some white balancing since some lighting was shady under the Dunbar bridge. DMC look OK, but very red. Details later on.

I was on the setup crew so picked up Erin and her cupcakes at 8, then headed to Brewer park. I had breakfast stuff for the volunteers so figured I should be early - turned out we were first. Our chief Sabra wasn't even there, to open the gate, she was still chasing down last minuet things. So we went to Tim Horton's for coffee - and found a good deal. Pot of coffee, in a big thermos, only $9 with tax - so grabbed a couple. By the time we got back the team had started to gather, so we chowed down and got to work. Major crisis - while the truck rental DID have our reservation, they didn't have a truck. And was just - sorry, our bad.

Luckily one of the volunteer's boyfriend works at a rental - one phone call and we had a 19 ft van to pick up sound equipment and stage. Lots of challenges all day, but it's a good team with a good leader - so we managed. Music started just after 12, walls got primed, and artists started, bboys and bgirls danced, MC challenges, and workshops on painting, DJ, hip-hop history, and breakdancing. My only regret was I didn't take as many pictures as I'd have liked to, and missed the workshops - but, I did get a lot done as a volunteer so helped things move along. Can't do everything in life, so better to focus on what was done than what was missed, right? I did get names of almost all the writers and some quick pics of them at work. Will go back in a day for the finished works. And I managed to network with Paul McCann of the City of Ottawa about the legal wall pilot project I'm trying to organize for the skateboard park here in Orleans. He's in Services, looks after maintenance (and cleanup of illegal graffiti) but supports legal walls and these hip-hop events - so while my councilor (Monette) and the mayor are for this, good politics to keep Paul in the loop.  Le Droit was there, taking pictures - the reporter made the mistake of asking me about graffiti - why I like it, where I've taken pictures over the years - I certainly filled her ear. (Update - article was in the Aug 8th issue of Le Droit!!)

By 6 I was HoP'd out, so went home to feed the cat and grab a catnap. Then off to DMC national Championships - they're here in Ottawa all weekend, and my cousin and her partner are part of the organization (I think maybe they ARE DMC Canada). It was at the New Capital City Music hall - on York, where the old Spaghetti factory used to be years ago. A great venue, good stage, some balconies with a view. I got on the guest list (yaa!) - had intended to just pop in but had my camera still with me, just in case. Turns out my cousin had seen my pics, liked them, said she could get me up on stage for some close shots. I had an excellent place in the front corner. Lighting is not great at these, but I wanted to try no flash, even though she said flash is OK. My Nikon SB-800 flash is powerful, blinding at times. Plus - look like flash pictures, as I haven't mattered fill flash yet. So I used my 50mm lens - at 1.8 it's nice and fast. Not a zoom, so need to compose carefully - but this was a good challenge to use in these circumstances. I played with settings, ISO 1000 to 1250 seemed to be sensitive enough, with less grain than 1600, and is only 1/2 f stop or so difference anyways. And the setup let me use 1/100sec in shutter-priority, was usually f2.8-3.5. I needed 1/100 since I was shooting with one hand - other was holding onto a stage support so I didn't lose my balance and crowd surf. F-stop range kept the background a bit blurry so it didn't distract, but a bit of DOF for the DJ's themselves. Stage lighting was a mix, a lot of red floods. They show up even redder in the pics - an artifact of the camera, seems sensitive to red. Maybe I would have needed to underexpose a bit - probably can tone down in Photoshop. I'd never seen a live competition - pretty neat. No headphones to cue up, some had little marks on the vinyl, most just knew what was there. Would take the old record off and throw it to the floor, grab the next one in their sequence, and not miss a beat. Two turntables and a mixer - really great stuff. Some teams, some solos - wish I could have stayed and danced once the real music started but feet and back were fading - it's those 5 dozen years kicking in.

Lots of great pics. This is the DMC set, HoP also in here.

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